When I lost Pepper, I could write my heart out because it was "my" story and she didn't mind a bit. But it is different at the moment. Perhaps these frustrating clarifications don't help much, but I thought I'd try them anyway: I'm doing much better than some people fear and somewhat worse than other people expect...
That help any? No? Sigh...
Let me try this: life has been about finding "the new normal": paying household bills, arranging visitations, and managing--on my own--anything that goes "bump" in the night. (It's usually my sleepwalking 10 year old; she tried to go to school last week at 3 AM. Keeps things interesting, it does.)
Alone at night, with kids asleep, I never turn on the TV now; it's much more important to try to sleep (though I find the harder you "try" to sleep, the harder it can be to achieve.) I occasionally scroll through Facebook news feed, and stop because there are so many pictures of the traditional type of family I so wanted to be, and it just hurts too much to see sometimes. I'll lie in bed and think about whether I set up auto-pay right on the electric bill. I wonder where I put that book I'm supposed to read about "Rebuilding" your life as a single. I finally fall asleep, and wake up 20 minutes later with a preschooler who wants water. When she has to go potty an hour after that, there is no one else to "take turns" getting up with. It's just me.
I'm tired. That stinks.
Life is trying to address the very kindly-meant questions I have no answers for: Where are you going to work or earn money? When? How about here or there? Are you going back to school? Are your kids? Are you moving? When? Where? How?
Sometimes the even harder questions seem to be "Are you okay?" And "What do you need?" I don't really know sometimes. I tend to say I'm okay, because there are so, so many worse problems than my own First World issues.
As for what I need.... I mean, I know what I want. But no one can simply hand me an intact, reasonably happy family, and restore plans for my future: the at least imagined security of "knowing" when and how and where one will retire; if another baby could ever (somehow?) be in my future; when the next "vacation" will be; and the darker thoughts of who I will grow old with, or if I will grow old alone, or even if I will grow old at all.
I try not to brood or give myself over to anxiety. I'm fully enjoying the summer with my kids.
And during my child-free time, I'm full-tilt pursuing a long-neglected hobby of mine: acting. I'm finishing up some short, "original works" plays this weekend at a local theater, and just got cast in "Guys and Dolls" at this coolly historic theater. I'm now one of the "Barker Players." While I dearly love my married and mommy friends, it's been good for me to spend time with "theater people," who overall seem to be a sensitive, kind group of singles with an appreciation for silliness, fun, and good stories: performing them as well as sharing their own. It feels like where I need to be right now. As a Christian, I appear to be rather a minority in these circles; it's been a neat opportunity to here and there share what I believe, and why.
I'm in an awkward phase of my life where what I'm doing doesn't necessarily present--from the outside--like the best idea. But then again, neither does walking on water.
"But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, 'Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.'"